Underwater research opportunity in Papua New Guinea, 1997
spater at cellmate.cb.uga.edu
Thu Nov 7 21:17:25 EST 1996
Social behavior of sympatric barracuda species
- EARTHWATCH VOLUNTEER field research in papua New Guinea, 1997
First, I apologize for any repetitious cross-postings for those of you
who happen to subscribe to the same mailing lists as I.
I'd like to put the word out about an upcoming Earthwatch project I will
be leading, a program of underwater research to be conducted during June,
July, and August of 1997. The setting for this research will be the
prolific reefs of Papua New Guinea's Madang Province, which lies smack at
the center of marine biodiversity. We will gather data through intensive
underwater observation of barracuda behavior, utilizing SCUBA diving and
snorkeling, and stay at the Christensen Research Institute, a research
center which shares a peninsula and 22 acres of former coconut plantation
with Jais Aben Resort.
Twenty species of barracuda prowl the world's seas, including
species classified as predominantly solitary in nature and those of a
typically more gregarious bent, which often form huge schools. We know
next to nothing about the behavior, and even the basic biology, of most
barracuda species. My previous research has focused upon the great
barracuda (*Sphyraena barracuda*), largest and most cosmopolitan of these
predators. Next year's study in Madang, which essentially examines and
contrasts the social behavior of several barracuda species occurring in
the same geographic area (sympatric species), will contribute to an
understanding of group formation and persistence in marine predators.
Results from this study may have broader application and significance in
approaching questions dealing with the evolution of sociality.
For further information, please contact EARTHWATCH directly by telephone
or through their WWW site (which also includes information on membership,
more information about this particular project, and other volunteer
opportunities for field research).
Earthwatch telephone: (800) 776-0188
Earthwatch website: http://www.earthwatch.org
Thanks for your interest.
PhD student, University of Georgia
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